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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  January 21, 2010 1:00pm-2:00pm EST

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said vote for norah o'donnell, vote against norah o'donnell. in periods just before elections, they couldn't buy ads that even mentioned a candidate's name. the supreme court struck those laws down and said korpgs have the same first amendment rights to speak about political issues as individuals do. we want their voices, the court said, and it's censorship to make it illegal for them to speak. >> this overturns a century of laws limiting this type of spending. this is a huge story, pete. let me ask you this. if exxonmobil, for instance, which makes a lot of money and sometimes is the boogie man out there. if they decide they want to spend $50 million to help a candidate, can they do that? >> reporter: yes, they can do that. i think the question is, will they? you just heard from senator schumer, who said it will open the flood gates. one important question is, how much more money are corporations going to spend than they already do? corporations can now organize
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something called political action committees, but those use donations that the corporation then puts together and gives to a candidate. >> and there are limits on that. >> reporter: that's right, and up until now, corporations couldn't use their own money, the money in their own treasury, their own pockets. now they can. by the way, the logic of today's decision almost certainly means -- although it didn't say explicitly -- that similar bans on unions, using their own money will also be struck down. but i think one question will be how much more money are corporations actually going to want to put into this process? one important thing the court did today is uphold part of the law that says all the money corporations spend must be publicly accounted for. so, you have to say who bought the ad and many people are saying that that will probably mean korpcorporations aren't go to spend in unlimited ways. it depends who you ask. supporters say this set the
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sierra club and national rifle association free. the opponents say it means that the huge corporations will drown out everyone else's voice. >> wow, this is going to be a huge change in politics as we know it. pete williams, thanks very much. you can see more of his reporting, a full report tonight on "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. check your local listings. with democrats still reeling from tuesday's stunning loss in massachusetts, president obama today decided to shift gears and really focus on taking on the economy and wall street bankers, proposing new rules to crack down on risky trading and get rid of banks that are too big to fail. with me now, cnbc's erin burnett and washington correspondent john harwood, also with "the new york times." erin, let me start with you. in some ways we see the president trying to pivot on, of course, the first day of his second year in office. do you think these regulations are really going to address some of the problems that were at the heart of the financial crisis? >> and that question really does cut to the heart of it. a lot of people are saying what we're looking at is a lot of politics.
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it's pretty simple. he's going to say he wants this regulatory reform but it comes in light of what we saw in massachusetts this week, and he wanted to come out swinging and say he's on the side of the people and wants to protect people from the banks. when you look at the actual details in here, by the way, norah, it's incredibly confusing. does it go to the heart of the problem? in some respects, maybe. in other respects, absolutely not. we're talking about proprietary trading. they are not supposed to be able to use people's accounts to go and trade. jp morgan, for example, norah get less than 1% of their total business from doing just that. if you look at it in terms of its overall impact on the companies probably not that big for jp morgan but goldman, little bigger, 10%. these rules probably wouldn't impact goldman at all. >> let me play what the president said about banks no longer being able to use customer money for this. let's listen. >> banks will no longer be
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allowed to own, invest or sponsor hedge funds, private equity funds or proprietiry trading operations for their own profit. >> john, what's your sense whether that will change practices, protect the consumer or put a dent in record profits banks are making? >> reporter: i suspect it will have an affect and that's one of the reasons we see people associated with the financial industry criticizing those. like erin, i'm a little unsure of exactly how these are going to be spelled out. look, the underlying idea that the president is trying to address -- it goes to your original question to erin -- is does it have the affect of curbing risk? that's what the administration wanted to do with the bank tax last week. that's what they're doing with these limits on liabilities that banks can take on and also with these restrictions on the kinds of trades that you can make. there's no question that politics is good and this president is spoiling for a fight in the wake of massachusetts with wall street. looks like he may get it. >> all right.
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erin burnett, john harwood, great to have both of you. thanks so much. wow, today what a turn of events for the democrats and a health care bill on the verge of passing a few weeks ago, not only did the massachusetts election cost the party its 60th senate vote but today speaker nancy pelosi says she does not have the votes to pass the health care bill through the house. listen. >> there are certain things that members just cannot support. so, in its present form without any change, i don't think it's possible to pass the senate bill in the house. >> kelly o'donnell is nbc news capitol hill correspondent, mike viqueira covered the house many years, now at the white house in the briefing room. we're expecting that to get started quickly. kelly, let me start with you. wow, did nancy pelosi put one more nail in the coffin of the health care reform bill? >> reporter: there was a collective breath with that. so much talk about the fastest way to get it done would be if the house would fall in live, if
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you will, pass the senate version as it is and then they would be done. that didn't go over well among her democratic members. there are big disagreements and aides i've talked to say this sort of calculation about having to deal with this issue because of the loss of 60, they didn't see this coming. so, of all the things they've been wrestling this, this formulation they weren't ready for. they still want to get something done. they feel the urgency in terms of legacy. so they can get on to jobs. everyone now is saying we've got to get on to jobs partly as a message from massachusetts. it's going to be very complicated and take a while to unwind the impact of massachusetts on what they can get done and republicans, of course, are buoyed by this, as you know. >> mike, a lot of people said the president needs to provide more leadership about exactly how to get this done. he indicated in an interview yesterday he would be willing to scale back the health care bill. what happens next? >> reporter: nobody knows.
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ever since nancy pelosi made the admission of what most people expected, there is a collective gasp at the white house as well as on capitol hill because they have to try to pick up the pieces and decide what can go through. you heard nancy pelosi say today that they might pick out some of the pieces that are the most popular. she specifically cited insurance industry reforms, doing away with the pre-existing condition limitations on who can be offered coverage, doing away with lifetime bans for coverage. she talked about affordability. the trouble is when she talks about affordability, she's talking about subsidies for lower-income people so they can afford the insurance they're going to be required to get. to raise the money to do that, you have to raise taxes, and that will play into the republican playbook and harden the opposition. president obama was on television last night. he gave an interview, where he talked about coalescing around these issues. >> the sen the shouldn't try to jam anything through until scott brown is seated. people of massachusetts spoke.
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he has to be part of that process. i would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on. >> reporter: white house officials said yesterday and we expect them to say again we want health care reform this year. we're waiting for them to tell us exactly how they're going to get there. >> i think it's interesting, as david plough said yesterday, he's not going to cut and run, but clearly some critics are saying he's retreating by what he said last night. when is the latest, kelly, on when scott brown may be seated? >> reporter: they're saying it's possible next week, but they're holding firm on the math that must take place in massachusetts, days must elapse and certification must take place. brown says he will follow whatever recommendations, but they think maybe as early as next week. we'll be following that closely. >> more delay. kelly o, mike viqueira, thank you very much. we appreciate it. the pentagon's report on the ft. hood shooting, is political
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correctness getting in the way of fighting terrorism? congressman ike skelton will join us. plus, john edwards finally admits he is the father of rielle hunter's baby and now the form es presidential candidate is in haiti, next on "andrea mitchell reports." ♪
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and what led to the ft. hood tragedy, yet another review of the november massacre, focused on individual soldiers and accountability. congressman ike skelton is chairman of the armed services committee. you're holding these hearings into the shootings, what went wrong. i heard one of your colleagues
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say that major hasan was a walking time bomb. why didn't we catch this early on? >> well, there is actually two d disconnects involved in this whole, very sad incident. first disconnect was between the actual appearance and actions of this major and of the written reports, medical report and efficiency report. there was a disconnect there. >> congressman, he was repeatedly reviewed, as is required in the military, yet he was repeatedly promoted. should there be individuals in the military who are held accountable for giving him these recommendations? >> obviously, that's happening. i learned from the news today that there will be certain -- there are certain investigations as to those superiors of his regarding this. let me go on to explain, there's also a disconnect between the
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intelligence that came from elsewhere and his superiors. and if both of those disconnects are disappeared, you wouldn't have had this, because he wouldn't have been around. >> let me turn now to the issue of the christmas day bomber. those were other hearings up on capitol hill yesterday. dennis blair essentially criticized the fbi for questioning him, treating him not as a terrorist but instead as a criminal. i want to just show you and everybody what we found on our nbc news/wall street journal poll. it found that 67% of americans believe that terror suspects should not have the same rights as others being tried. where do you stand on this? should the christmas day bomber be given those rights? what about khalid shaikh mohammed? >> i have always said it's better to try these types of persons, these alleged
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criminals, before a commission. i have said that. i was not in favor of them bringing the terrorist to new york. that's why you have commissions. matter of fact, the evidentiary part is different from a full-blown federal jury trial. that's why i think it's better to try them before a commission. >> do you get what's going on here? i wonder if there's a sense on capitol hill about how concerned the public is. i showed you that number. they don't like how these terror suspects are being treated and then this. there's a lot of fear. according to our nbc/wall street journal poll, the number of americans worried nearly doubled since october about the fear of a major terror attack. does congress get that? does there need to be more oversight? >> i think we, on our committee, do. we understand it very, very well. we deal in matters such as this. armed services committee is very aware of it. matter of fact, we'll continue
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to have hearings. we're going to have a closed hearing on the ft. hood incident very, very soon, because we can then go into matters that were not able to be brought up during the open hearing that was held yesterday. >> congressman ike skelton, you're good to join us. thank you very much. >> you bet. you're welcome, ma'am. another aftershock that registered 4.9 hit haiti as aid workers are struggling to find shelter for the millions of homeless. nbc's ron allen is in port-au-prince. ron, an aftershock yesterday, again today. this is a scared populous who is just trying to get their standing. were you able to feel it? >> reporter: i did. i was on the second floor of a building in the office and it's very frightening. a lot of haitians believe that there are going to be more aftershocks and there's going to be another big, terrible earthquake. i've been amazed at how many people i've talked to out in the
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community and out in the slums who say that. they're really afraid. this confirms that. when aftershocks happen, people run in all different directions. you have a population of 2 million people or more who are already living outside. there are very few structures where anybody feels comfortable enough to go in and put a roof over their heads, literally. people are out in the streets all day. this is, in some ways, the worst thing that could happen. we don't know that there are more reports of structural damage, more rubble falling, but psychologically, i'm sure this aftershock will have a huge impact on the people here. >> we heard from general petraeus today say that additional troops that have been sent to haiti have not slowed the afghan surge troop deployment. he says there's no slippage in the rapid deployment of these 30,000 troops headed to afghanistan. what about the troop deployment there in haiti? it has been growing, right? what are they doing there on the ground? >> reporter: i believe it's up to about 14,000 now on land and offshore and i think it gets to about 20,000 by the weekend, a
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number that i've heard compared to the size of the surge in iraq in 2007, to give you some sense of the american commitment to this operation. what they're going to do exactly, i am not sure. i believe a lot of it is security, a lot of it is distributing aid in different ways. that is one thing that we continue to try to get a handle on, who is doing what here. we hear all these reports of heavy equipment and troops from around the world, doctors. it's hard to get a logical explanation of exactly where things are going on. this is a very, very difficult mission. the more i drive around the capitol, the more impressed i am by how completely destroyed it is. tough topography, tough to get anywhere. this is going to take a while. we keep asking why does it take so long for the aid to get there? i think the short answer is it's going to take a while because it's physically impossible to move so much stuff from one place to the other, unfortunately. >> no doubt.
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now our very best, the u.s. military, is there to help. ron allen, thank you very much. up next, president obama is kicking off year two in the white house with a very populist set of anti-bank proposals. will it get democrats back on track? elizabeth edwards is speaking out about news that her husband fathered a child with his mistress. we'll have those details, next. . unlock an outdoor dreamland for your indoor cat. exciting flavor combinations, plus a touch of garden greens make it irresistible. friskies indoor delights.
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breaking news. this just in. we are now hear iing from elizabeth edwards, who is speaking out about her husband's admission that, in fact, he did father a child with his mistress, rielle hunter. elizabeth edwards now is saying her whole family feels relieved now that her husband has come forward to claim paternity of this child. she said in an interview with the associated press that she believes john edwards is also relieved to put the matter behind him and she says she hopes the declaration will help end publicity around the family's matters. she declined to talk about her
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marital status, apparently, saying, quote, my marriage shouldn't be on anybody's radar screen except my own. this is a big story today. let's bring in politico's john harris. you saw lisa myers break this story on the "today" show this morning. now we're hearing from elizabeth edwards. she says she hopes this helps to put this behind them. that's not likely the case, is it? >> well, the matter of putting it back on the agenda is basically two books, mark halperin's book "game change" put their marriage on the radar screen and andrew young, cast by the edwards' team as the supposed father of this child. i think they felt the publicity that was continuing to focus on their marriage and particularly the paternity of this child made it better for them to come out and say what a lot of people had assumed for a long time, norah that he was, in fact, the father of the child. why not embrace the obvious? >> we'll talk to mark halperin
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later this hour about what's in his book and this new admission. we just got this news in, probably in the last half hour, that john edwards just arrived in haiti this morning. he has been doing some humanitarian work in el salvador, i believe. what's your reaction that he arrives in haiti on the very day that he also finally makes this admission that's damaging to his reputation? >> well, there's no -- he should devote himself to good works. i don't see him ever having a promising political career in front of him. this episode has been incredibly damaging to his reputation and to his credibility. and that doesn't mean he can't go and do good things in the world, such as helping out with the terrible situation in haiti. he care ace lot about the role -- about fixing poverty in the united states. i just don't see him rebuilding a political career. that doesn't mean he can't have some public career. >> i hear you. you also have a great piece in politico about obama's first
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year, what went wrong. three major mistakes by the administration that you lay out. what are they? >> well, one of them was reading the 2008 election as a sign that something seismic, that is, something long-lasting and fundamental had happened to the ideological balance of power in the united states. i think the obama people believed our view in favor -- for robust government action -- in other words, the more liberal side of the argument now has the upper hand. that turned out not to be true. i don't think the country has made a fundamental ideological shift, still very much a centrist country. when they're nervous about things, as they are now about the country, the pendulum swings back and forth. that's one of them. the other is assuming barack obama, the power of his personal appeal would allow him to transcend the usual rules of gravity that apply to politicians. that turned out not to be true. >> john harris with politico. john, thanks so much. we appreciate it. >> thank you, norah.
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good to see you. more on that breaking news, elizabeth edwards now reacting to the new that is her husband has finally admitted that he fathered a child with his mistress, rielle hunter. we'll talk with mark halperin, author of "game change" next. i work for a different insurance company. my auto policy's just getting a little too expensive. with progressive, you get the "name your price" option, so we build a policy to fit your budget. wow! the price gun. ♪ ah! wish we had this. we'd just tell people what to pay. yeah, we're the only ones that do. i love your insurance! bill? tom? hey! it's an office party! the freedom to name your price. only from progressive. call or click today.
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♪ ♪ spread a little joy and see ♪ need a little happiness to be ♪ ♪ living the life with me ♪ john edwards landed in haiti today. that's right, john edwards just landed inside the quake zone, there a year ago as part of a humanitarian effort. this time, he brought with him supplies, medicine and doctors for the relief efforts. he did not comment on camera about the paternity of his child, instead he sent a friend. elizabeth edward sincere now speaking out, saying her whole family is relieved. lisa myers says john edwards has
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been wanting to make this statement for month. >> senator edwards' statement has been months in the making and says what many had concluded, that at the same time he was running for president, john edwards fathered a child. today, he is publicly embracing that child for the first time. after two years of scandal, deception and betrayal. >> the story is false. >> reporter: that destroyed his political career and wrecked his personal leaf, john edwards this morning is trying to right a wrong. are you speaking for the senator today? >> yes, i'm speaking to the senator for the extent that anyone can, yes. >> reporter: harrison hickman is edwards' long-time friend and trusted adviser, coming forward to help deliver a message about frances quinn hunter, the child born to rielle hunter, with whom edwards had an affair. >> the senator wants to say, first of all, he is the father of quinn. secondly, he wants people to know that he has provided for her and will continue to provide for her, as he should, both
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financially and emotionally. >> reporter: in a written statement provided exclusively to nbc news, edwards says, i am quinn's father. i will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and support she deserves. it was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me. >> when he talks about the child, what does he tell you? how does he feel about this child? >> he talks about her being a beautiful child and a happy child. like any father, he talks about how it makes him feel when he's around quinn, which is very happy. i think he's very proud of this child. >> this child is almost 2 years old. why did it take so long for the senator to acknowledge that he is her father? >> it's a lot more complicated, i think, than most people think. there are a lot of adults involved and i think they wanted to handle this the right way for jack and emma claire and kate, as well as for quinn.
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>> edwards' attorney say he has been seeing quinn and providing financial support for about a year. and just signed a child support agreement with hunter. a spokesperson for elizabeth edwards says she learned last summer that quinn is her husband's child. today's announcement marks another chapter in the fall of a man once considered a leading candidate for president. >> we're going to start changing this country now. >> reporter: a man whose hubris and recklessness brought personal destruction. in this photo, edward sincere seen with both his wife and his mistress the night before he first confided to his wife he had been unfaithful. but when tabloid headlines forced a public admission of the affair with hunter, his campaign videographer in august 2008, he denied hunter's child was his. >> i know that it's not possible that this child could be mine because of the timing of events. so, i know it's not possible.
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>> reporter: did he know at the time that this was his daughter? >> i don't know if he knew it was his daughter at the time, but i know he lied when he said it was not possible. and he knows he lied. i think he certainly is regretful for that. >> reporter: the senator also has said that the affair with rielle hunter occurred when elizabeth's cancer was in remission. however, this child was conceived three months after elizabeth announced that her cancer was back and it was incurable. >> you're right. i mean, as he has said, he has been deceitful about it. he has lied about it. >> reporter: elizabeth edwards is still undergoing cancer treatment and makes occasional public appearances about health care. she opened a furniture shop last summer in chapel hill, north carolina, not far from the family's mansion. how is elizabeth dealing with this new member of the family? >> elizabeth thinks that he should acknowledge this. it's been a very difficult time
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for -- for everyone, but for elizabeth, i think, more than anyone else, it's been a difficult time. >> reporter: friends say john and elizabeth edwards have separated, at least for now, but still talk on a regular basis. edwards bought this house for quinn and her mother to live in, in charlotte, more than two hours away from his home in chapel hill, which set the neighborhood abuzz. >> i haven't heard anybody say, oh, no! but it's been like oh, gosh. and then we thought, oh, dear, that means the press will be here a lot. >> reporter: john edwards tries to stay out of the public spotlight, spends time at his beach house and went to el salvador three times last year to build houses for the poor. >> he has done good, old-fashioned work, built hospitals, schools. >> reporter: in his statement edwards said to all those i have disappointed and hurt, these words will never be enough, but i am truly sorry. >> he knows that say iing he's
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sorry isn't enough, but he is incredibly remorseful about the pain he has caused people. he wants to be a good father and, you know, be a good person again. >> that was lisa myers. with us now to talk more about this is "time" magazine senior political analyst mark halperin and co-author of the new book "game change." mark, we knew, in many ways, that john edwards might be the father of rielle hunter, it was a matter of time before he admitted it. your reaction? >> couple of pretty interesting things, some of which we report in "game change." originally, the way john edwards was able to keep this story of whether this child was his in the heat of the campaign immediately before the iowa caucuses from exploding into the media was he denied he was the father, rielle hunter, and andrew young came out saying he was the father. what was strange about the choice of andrew young is that he told many people around john edwards that he had a vasectomy
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years ago. it was implausible that andrew young was the father on the face of it, and he was known as someone who would do anything for john edwards in a very survival way. we also report in the book that elizabeth edwards had said at one point, when all indications were that this was john edwards' child and she was asked by a friend, you know, how can you believe this? it seems so obvious that andrew young is not the father and elizabeth said to her friend, i have to believe he's not the father because if i'm wrong, i'm married to a monster. >> yeah. and there's another part i want to read from your book, about the time that john edwards was pushing to be obama's running mate or even be attorney general. you write this, quote, jennifer palmieri told edwards, quote, if you lie, you're going to make things infinitily worse. edwards replied that he was going to confess to the affair but deny paternity of the child. he didn't want to jeopardize his chances of being obama's
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attorney general. quote, you have to call obama right now and back out" palmieri said. was he delusional? >> i'm not a medical doctor. i can't say. he said in no uncertain terms don't do that interview on "nightline" unless you're going to come clean and tell the whole truth. he disregarded that advice and almost everyone watching that interview, at least in political circles, felt it was obviously not true and hert hurt his credibility. >> as you point out, multiple times he was confronted by staffers about this. mark halperin, thank you very much. the president is now in the east room as the president begins his first day of the second year in office, trying to pivot and refocus on jobs. he is introducing and making some acknowledgements now about mayors that are there. again, the significance of this
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speech now is that they admit it was a devastation for the party, the massachusetts election, and a wake-up call for many democrats in washington. they know it's become a political albatross around the president's neck, the president acknowledged yesterday he is willing to make some changes, perhaps have a scaled-down bill, in his words. today we heard speaker nancy pelosi, perhaps, put the final nail in the coffin be of the senate bill, saying she didn't have the votes in the house to pass that bill. so, this white house is recalibrating today, trying to figure out how to get some kind of a health care reform bill done. at the same time, acknowledging they've got to get off the topic of health care reform quickly and focus on jobs and the economy. the number one issue, the very issue that senator-elect scott brown focused on in massachusetts and rode this wave of independent anger out there about what's going on in this country.
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let's take a moment and listen to president barack obama. >> i know all of you met the first lady yesterday. to begin an important national -- begin an important national discussion on our national childhood obesity epidemic. i hate following my wife. she's more charming, smarter, tougher, better looking. but i am looking to a productive discussion with all of you on the urgent need to create jobs and move our metropolitan areas forward. i always enjoy meeting with mayors because it reminds me of where i got my start, working with folks at the local level, doing our best to make the real impact on the lives of ordinary americans. that's what each of you does every single day. you're the first interaction citizens have with their government when they step outside every morning. the things that make our cities work and our people go, transit and public safety, safe housing,
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sanitation, parks, recreation. all these tasks fall to you. it was president johnson who once said when the burden to the presidency seemed unusually heavy, i always remind myself it could be worse -- i could be a mayor. so that's why we organized this meeting today. i look at all of you and say, i'm doing fine. it's just not easy being a mayor. but rarely, if ever, has it been more difficult than it is today. your constituents are feeling the pain of the greatest economic crisis since the great depression, not to mention an economy that wasn't working for a lot of them long before this particular crisis hit. many have lost jobs, many have lost their health care. some maybe even lost their homes, and they're looking to you and all of us to regain some sense of economic security.
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and just when they need more from you, you're stuck with falling revenues, leaving you with impossible choices that keep mounting up, putting projects on hold, having to furlough key employees. i know some of you have the heartbreak of laying folks off and i know that each and every one of you is 100% resolved to pick your city up and move it forward. that's why, even as we worked to rescue our broader economy last year, we took some steps to help. we cut taxes, as joe mentioned, for workers and small businesses, we extended unemployment and health benefits for those who lost their jobs. we provided aid to local governments so you could keep essential services running and keep cops and firefighters and teachers, who make your cities safe places to grow and learn on your payroll. we invested in proven strategies like the cops programs and grant us rely on to bring down crime and boost public safety. we funded and awarded more than 1,800 of the energy, efficiency
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and conservation block grant that is you conceived, flexible product that is reduce energy use, put people back to work and save taxpayers' money. we increased funding for the summer youth program, helping more than 300,000 young people hit especially hard by the recession. that did more than just give them a chance to earn money. it gave them the critical chance to gain experience and good jobs to build good skills so they can come out of this crisis and in a better position to build a life for themselves. we're working every day to get their economy back on track and put america back to work. while wall street may be recovering, you and i know your main streets have a long way to go. unemployment in your cities is still far too high. and because our metropolitan areas account for 90% of our economic output, they are the engines that we need to get started again. last month, i announced some additional targeted steps to spur private sector hiring and boost small businesses by building on the tax cuts in the
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recovery act and increasing access to the loans they desperately need to grow. i said we would rebuild and modernize even more of our transportation and communications networks across the country in addition to the infrastructure projects that are already scheduled to come online this year. i called for the extension of emergency relief to help hurting americans who have lost their jobs, and you can expect a continued, sustained and relentless effort to create good jobs for the american people. i will not rest until we've gotten there. but i also know that each of you worrie worries about the longer term effects this economy may have on your families, your children and your workers. you worry about what shape everything will be in when we emerge from this crisis. you're focused on the pressing problems for today, but also have a vision for your city.
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no matter where you traveled from, that vision is where i share, of vibrant communities that provide our children with every chance to learn and to grow, that allow our businesses and workers the best opportunity to innovate and succeed, that let our older americans live out their best years in the midst of all that metropolitan life has to offer. all of us have an obligation to make sure that even as we work to rescue and rebuild our economy, we don't lose sight of that. job creation and investing in our communities aren't competing priorities, they are complimentary. two years ago, i addressed your gathering and outlined a new strategy for urban mern america that changed the way washington does business with urban areas. we've taken a hard look at that relationship, for matters of infrastructure to transportation, education to energy, housing to sustainable development. my staff has traveled around the country to see the fresh ideas and successful solutions that you've devised and learned a
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great deal about what we can do and shouldn't do to help rebuild and revitalize our cities and metropolitan areas for the future. the budget that i'll present next month will begin to back up this urban vision, to put an end to throwing money after what doesn't work and investing responsibly in what does. our strategy to build economically competitive, environmentally stable, opportunity-rich communities that serve as the backbone for long-term growth and prosperity. three items. first, we'll build strong, regional backbones for our economy by coordinate iing fede investment and economic and workforce development. because today's metropolitan areas don't stop at downtown. what's good for denver, for example, is usually good for places like aurora and boulder too. strong cities are the building blocks of strong regions and strong regions are essential for a strong america. second we'll focus on creating more liveable and
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environmentally stable commun y communities, because when it comes to development, it's time to throw out old policies that encourage sprawl and congestion, pollution and ended up isolating our communities in the process. we need strategies that encourage smart development linked to quality public transportation that bring our communities together. that's why we'll improve our partnership for sustainable communities by working with hud, epa and department of transportation in making sure when it comes to development, housing and transportation go hand in hand and we'll build on the discretionary grants program to put people to work and help our cities rebuild roads, bridges, train stations and water systems. third, we'll focus on creating neighborhoods of opportunity. many of our neighborhoods have been economically distressed long before this crisis hit.
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for as long as many of us can remember. and while the underlying causes may be deeply rooted and complicated, there are some needs that are simple. access to good jobs, affordable housing, convenient transportation that connects both, quality schools and health services, safe streets and parks and access to a fresh, healthy food supply. so we'll invest in innovated and proven strategies that change the outcome for our communities, promised neighborhoods, neighborhood level interventions that saturate our kids with the services that offer them a better start in life, strategies like choice neighborhoods, which focuses on new ideas for housing, by recognizing that different communities need different solutions. by the way, we're also expanding the successful race to the top competition to improve our schools and raise the bar for all our students to local school districts that are committed to change.
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that's what we're going to bring jobs and opportunities to every corner of our cities and our economy, focusing on what works. that's what all of you do each and every day. you're not worried about ideology. obviously all of you are elected, so you think about politics but it's not in terms of scoring political points, you're going to be scored on whether you deliver the goods or not. you focus on solving problems for people who trusted us with solving them. that's a commitment all of us who serve should keep in mind. as long as i'm president, i'm committed to being your partner in that work. we're going to keep on reaching out to you and listening to you and working with you towards our common goals. i want to start that right now by taking some of your questions. but first i think all these cameras are going to move out so you can tell me the truth. all right. thank you. [ applause ]
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>> and how about that. cameras turned off right as they take questions. >> that's pretty standard, nothing special about that. the mayors didn't sign up for a press conference. they signed up for a meeting with the president. >> exactly. let me introduce the two of you. just saw the president talking to u.s. mayors. this is something that happens at the white house often. clearly the president trying to pivot. this is the second year in office, jobs, jobs, jobs, on the very day the speaker of the house nancy pelosi essentially puts the nail in the coffin and says i don't have the votes. >> a lot of senate democrats are bleeding from every pore.
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they have walked the plank and now they have nothing. they have a real problem. it's incumbent on the president to pick the pieces he wants in health care and get something done, even if it's bipartisan, whatever, then start moving to this jobs thing. today you got another report, bad news for the president, all of us, apparently jobless claims are up and the dow jones is down a couple hundred points. not good news. >> pat says democrats are bleeding from every pore, are you? >> he's been adviser to more than one president and that's good advice he's giving. >> he's ongoing to have to reposition more than just retorically. >> mayors and president have long deep ties. number one, they are both ceos. mayors are on the ground in hard politics. mayors are held accountable for solutions, making stuff happen. the fact that we've hit a
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challenge. i don't think we've hit a wall, we've had a challenge. if health care was that easy, it would have already been done by three other presidents. the fact of the matter is we've hit a political hurdle, policy hurdle. a good president doesn't give up, he goes back in and figures out what's next. >> hurdle or roadblock. >> no, hurdle. we can continue to move forward. how do we move forward in one way, shape or form. >> they have to dictate from the white house and not give power to the white house deciding what to do. if they are going to do something piecemeal, they are going to have to say their three priorities are. >> remember, these guys in congress and in the white house, they all got elected on a series of promises. it would have been wrong for him to try to not do this. has he to continue to move forward with some kind of solution making. >> pat, your top three choices. >> cap and trade is finished. >> object health care, insurance reform, medicare. >> quite frankly, go to
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republicans, you want to get them, do tort reform, the precondition aspect. other attractive aspects people won't vote against. the problem is how do you put them together and make this deficit neutral. i don't know. they are not there yet. i guess they are going to have to start working owner it after pelosi raised the white flag. >> the main issues for americans, job creation economic growth 38%, national security/terrorism number two, federal deficit number three and health care number four at 12%. i was looking at the papers, the democrats want to raise the debt ceiling or have to raise the debt ceiling 1.6, right? >> $1.9 trillion. if you're fed up like voters in massachusetts with continued blow to government, looks like the democrats are going to raise the debt ceiling. >> two of the top three issues, deficit jobs, economics. >> let me make a point here. the presidency is fluid like time is fluid. things have happened since he
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got elected, right? the conversation the three of us have a year from now and two years from now as he goes into re-election will be different. just because other things are moving up doesn't mean you don't finish something you're four-fifths of the way done. that's what he's trying to do. health care does affect jobs. he needs to be working on jobs and that's why he's laying out plans. part is stabilizing financial regulatory reform, hugely important so we don't get there and have it fall apart again. the president has a big job. it ain't easy but he's working on it and not walking away. >> thanks to you. chris cillizza with us to talk about the headlines in the next 24. chris, jobs, economy or john edwards. what do you think? >> this is kind of an embarrassment of riches of we didn't even mention the supreme court decision which is a huge deal in terms of campaign finance. i do still think health care is what we'll be talking about. nancy pelosi saying there are
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not votes in the house to pass the senate plan. this leaves the white house in a difficult position. they didn't have any good options, norah, after the massachusetts race. they may now have almost no options. it's certainly going to be tough for them to clear the decks in any near future as they try to pivot to the economy and jobs starting with the president's state of the union next week. >> all right, chris. how about those hoyas. >> i love it. thank you for that gratuitous mention. >> read more of chris and his blog at the i'm norah o'donnell. andrea will be back tomorrow. peter alexander going to pick up next. don't miss a special comment from keith olberman on countdown. he'll react to campaign finance. this changes a century of laws. corporations can get into campaigns. this is huge. that's next on msnbc. to italian sauce,
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if these folks want a fight, it's a fight i'm ready to have. >> as you just heard, president obama is looking for a fight after a stinging defeat in the massachusetts senate race. the president tapping into populace anger. the message is all about the economy. the man that delivered the defeat in massachusetts is today on capitol hill, the senate's newest star making the rounds as democrats try to figure out what to do about health care. where would you be the day you announced to the world your secret love child with your mistress. if you're john edwards you'll find out where it is. it is a done deal, conan is out. his days to host "the tonight show" down to two. good evening. peter alexander at msnbc headquarters in new york. we begin this hour at the white
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house. president obama finishing a speaking engagement in the east room of the white house. he addressed a delegation from the u.s. conference of mayors. he's now meeting with them in washington. the president focused on the economy as well as jobs in communities both large and small. he, of course, is the country's ceo, speaking to ceos of larger towns and cities around the country. it comes just hours after he proposed new limits on the size and risky activities of america's banks vowing never again will the american taxpayer be held hostage by banks too big to fail. his words. joining us from the white house cnbc's chief washington correspondent john harwood. john, we've heard from the president twice in the last couple of hours. i want your reaction. seems he's trying to strike the populous tonight, trying to look to the immediate future. >> you're opening frame exactly right, peter. democrats couldn't beat up scott brown in massachusetts so they are trying to fi


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